Piaget Developmental Theory

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The 1800’s marked the foundation of modern era studies of child development. Prior, children were viewed as inherently evil (original sin view) and at some point as “a blank blanket” that inherits characteristics through child experiences (tabula rasa view) (Santrock, 2011). Comprehending child development is a pivotal aspect of Child and Youth Development (CYD). With an understanding of child development, Child and Youth Care (CYC) workers can improve their approaches to children. For the purpose of this essay, a child developmental theory will be referred to as an approach and development will be defined as “the pattern of movement or change that begins at conception and continues through the life span” (Santrock, 2011, pp.6). This essay …show more content…

Piaget’s theory places an emphasis on how children actively “construct their own cognitive worlds” (Santrock, 2011, p. 172). The first stage in Piaget’s theory, known as the sensorimotor stage, starts from birth to about two years (Santrock, 2011). In this stage, infants use their senses in conjunction with their motoric actions (Santrock, 2011). The sensorimotor stage is divided into six sub stages, the first substage namely being simple reflexes. The simple reflexes substage concords to the first month after an infant is born (Santrock, 2011). Sensorimotor actions during simple reflexes are mainly characterized by reflexive behaviors such as rooting and sucking (Santrock, 2011). In addition, another sensorimotor stage is known as secondary circular reactions and is acquired between the ages of four to eight months (Santrock, 2011). Out of fascination, the infant begins to repeat actions and imitates certain actions such as baby talk (Santrock, 2011). The fifth sensorimotor stage which develops in infants of 12 to 18 months is known as tertiary circular reactions, novelty and curiosity (Santrock, 2011). An infant in this stage is fascinated by the many things they can do to an object and they experiment with new behavior (Santrock, 2011). The final sensorimotor stage is internalization of schemes which develops in infants of 18 to 24 months of age (Santrock, 2011). In this stage, the infant can form mental representations and therefore can easily pick on certain new behaviors from the people around the infant (Santrock,

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